On Thanksgiving and Giving Thanks . . .
Dear People of Saint Timothy’s Church:
November is the month in which we, as a nation, observe Thanksgiving Day as an occasion to give thanks to God for the blessings we have received as his hands. It is, of course, observed in a purely secular manner by some people, but for people of faith that act of thanksgiving is always directed toward God, “from whom all blessings flow.” That is why Thanksgiving Day is one of only two “national” Holy Days on our Church Calendar (the other being Independence Day).
November is also the month in which many of us complete our annual parish pledge card for the coming year. That pledge card indicates an amount of money that we intend to contribute through St. Timothy’s parish for the ministry, mission, and work of God’s Church. It is a visible act of Christian stewardship, a way of expressing our thanks to God in an ongoing way throughout the year.
Thanksgiving Day as a Holy Day reminds us that all of our godly giving is part and parcel of St. Paul’s appeal in his Letter to the Romans [12:1]: “I beseech you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present yourselves as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.” Christian giving always requires some sacrifice in order for us to appreciate fully the bounty for which we offer thanks. In short, Thanksgiving always requires an offering. However romanticized it may have now become, that first Thanksgiving Day almost 400 years ago nevertheless involved some sort of sharing—of offering to each other and to God—and that same obligation is ours today.
Your observance of Thanksgiving Day this year will be all the more complete and holy when it is coupled with that ongoing offering to God known as your pledge. When you give thanks to God this Thanksgiving Day, do it in the knowledge that you will be offering that thanks to him not on one day only, but on every day throughout the year.
Happy Thanksgiving—and happy giving—to all.